Tulip bulbs should be transplanted in the fall, according to Tulips.com. The tulips take root during the winter, and the cold is necessary in order to spark growth in the spring.
Tulip bulbs should be planted about 6 to 8 inches below the surface, measuring from the base of the bulb. The bulbs require well-drained soil, which can be amended with coarse sand to create a bed that is less dense. The bulb breaks down after the flowers bloom, but the bulb then produces additional bulblets, which is why some tulips come back year after year. After the flowers are cut, the plants should be allowed to die naturally, because the new bulblets receive energy from the existing plant, according to Tulips.com.